Hello lucky Florida Birders, (because you have so many birds)

I am from VT and am coming to FL 4/11-4/15 on a business trip.  My
wish list is fairly short and I am hoping some of you might be able to
help; worm eating warbler and dicksissel.   Of course, every songbird
is a thrill.  Is there a place where I might be more apt to find either of
these guys?  Is there a "best place" to go for migrating songbirds?
Merritt Island NWR is one of my favorite places, but I'm not sure if I
would see migrating songbirds there.

I will be staying in the Kissimmee area and may have to work each
day, but I can be up early and out there.  The best thing is to know
where to look.  I do have the FL Birding Trail maps and Pranty's guide
to FL.  Also, am willing to travel, some days further than others
depending on my workload.

Someone told me Fort DeSoto is one of the best places during
migration.  Any comment on that is appreciated.  I might even get one
full day to bird if I work really hard all the other days!

Thank you so much for your help.  I enjoy this FLBIRDS list and thank
you all for sharing your sightings.  It is an education.

 Please reply directly to me.  I hope this is an OK post; I have never
posted to this list before.  Thanks again.  If you ever come to VT, I'd
love to share my favorite places with you.  The number of birds,
however, does not compare with sunny FL.

Jo Ann Lafayette Burlington VT  [log in to unmask]

On 1 Apr 2005 at 14:49, David Simpson wrote:

> Hi Folks,
> How long can I last without a Big Day?  Apparently
> 3 1/2 months.  Spurred on by Capt. Ron's recent
> efforts to retake his previous Big Day crowns and
> a three day span with no commitments, I decided to
> get back on the Big Day horse and ride to another
> record.  Last year, I managed to find 163 species
> in late March on a Tallahassee to Brevard route.
> I had virtually no time to scout the route since I
> had been down and out from the accident for the
> previous month.  I scouted the route on a Brevard
> to Tallahassee Big Day the previous day.  Clearly,
> March has more potential.  This time, I decided to
> spend some time (1 1/2 days) scouting things out
> before running one Big Day from Tallahassee to
> Brevard.  A Tallahassee to Sarasota route would
> likely work better, but I opted for familiarity.
> Knowing the nooks and crannies of an area gives
> one an advantage when it comes to the end and you
> want to fill specific holes.  So, off I went to
> scout and run another March Big Day.
> Scouting began on Tuesday the 29th.  I got off
> work at 1300 and headed home to pack for the trip.
>  I had checked out Viera the evening before and
> didn't find much that compelled me to include it
> in the route.  I still had it in the plan at this
> point, but that could change.  The main target for
> this day was Jetty Park.  I hadn't been there for
> awhile and I wanted to see what was still around.
> I purchased a new annual pass and set out to the
> beach.  There were considerable numbers of people
> and few gulls to be seen.  There were a few G.
> black-backed gulls around, mostly immatures.  Way
> offshore, there were about six Northern gannets
> flying north.  There are usually a few around
> until 01 Apr, but they are not a sure thing in
> spring.  The question I wanted to resolve was
> whether Jetty Park or Playalinda Beach (or
> neither) would be my beach spot.  Jetty is more
> reliable for Great black-backed gull (always
> there) and Lesser black-backed gull (mostly from
> Oct-Dec.)  Sandwich and Common terns are most
> often found here as well as frigatebirds.  Cutting
> Jetty Park out of the picture would save a good
> deal of time and alleviate several traffic issues.
>  This is a Big Weekday which means a whole new set
> of traffic patterns.  That kind of thinking is for
> night time.  In daylight, I must scout.  I heard a
> few warblers in the parking lot and decided to
> tour the nature trail before birding the rest of
> the port.  There were two Cape May warblers and a
> Prairie at the start, but nothing on the trail.
> The rest of the port produced very little:  a few
> more G. black-backs and a Yellow-crowned
> night-heron.
> Next up was the refuge (MINWR.)  My main concern
> was Playalinda Beach.  I was basically familiar
> with the Gator Creek loops, Pumphouse, and
> Blackpoint areas.  Ideally I would scout these
> areas as well, but I was very limited on time.  I
> headed out to the beach, checking the vistas along
> the way.  I neither heard nor saw Gray kingbird at
> the usual spot (Vista IV).  It is a bit early for
> this species.  I found a few wigeon between IV and
> V on the right.  These could be significant on the
> Big Day.  I found only one gannet at my usual
> Pelandgic birding spot (Eddy Creek.)  There was
> the usual variety of shorebirds on the beach with
> the addition of Red knots.  I don't seem to see
> these on the beach too often.  Mostly they are in
> the impoundments or on the causeway.  I did find a
> G. black-backed gull, the one staple species of
> Jetty Park.  So, wigeon, gannet, and G.
> Black-backed gull were the key species.  Gannet
> has about the same probability in either spot
> (maybe slightly higher at Jetty), black-backed
> gull is a definite at Jetty Park, and wigeon
> should be found at Wakulla Springs SP.  I would
> probably go to Wakulla Springs SP for Wood duck if
> I don't get them at St. Mark's NWR.  These are a
> few of the variables running through my head as I
> ran through possible routes.
> As the route evolved, I came across the idea of
> including Orlando Wetlands Park.  If I left out
> Viera, the favored plan of the moment, I could
> pick up a few species there.  Purple gallinule and
> Wood duck could be found in the north.  Limpkin
> could be found on Lake Drive en route to
> Providence Rd. or maybe at Providence Rd.
> Ring-necked duck can be found on the E-W
> Expressway on the way to Brevard.  After further
> review, it was probably not worthwhile to include
> OWP in the scouting.  Sometimes, without The Punk
> to bounce ideas off of and with limited time to
> review, I make some pretty dumb decisions.  At any
> rate, I checked the area and didn't find much out
> of the ordinary.  I'll have to wait for a time
> when I am not running a Big Day to visit one of my
> favorite places again.
> After checking the wetlands park, I headed on
> toward Tallahassee.  I made it as far as
> Gainesville before hitting the hay.  I checked
> with Andy Wraithall (where I'd be staying on Big
> Day Eve) to see if anything was new and exciting
> in Tallahassee and laid down to six hours' sleep
> before heading on to SMNWR the next morning.
> David Simpson
> [log in to unmask]
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